A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption and carry desolation in their way.— Fisher Ames
The most romantic Fisher Ames quotes that are new and everybody is talking about
The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness which the ambitious call, and the ignorant believe to be liberty.
Should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a schoolbook? Its morals are pure, its examples are captivating and noble....In no Book is there so good English, so pure and so elegant, and by teaching all the same they will speak alike, and the Bible will justly remain the standard of language as well as of faith.
Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits .
. . it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers.
Liberty is not to be enjoyed, indeed it cannot exist, without the habits of just subordination; it consists, not so much in removing all restraint from the orderly, as in imposing it on the violent.
A monarchy is a merchantman which sails well, but will sometimes strike on a rock, and go to the bottom; a republic is a raft which will never sink, but then your feet are always in the water.
The happiness of a people, and the good order and preservation of civil government, essentially depend on piety, religion, and morality.
[the framers of the Constitution] intended our government should be a republic, which differs more widely from a democracy than a democracy from a despotism.
No man can be a sound lawyer in this land who is not well read in the ethics of Moses and the virtues of Jesus.
No one ever became, or can become truly eloquent without being a reader of the Bible, and an admirer of the purity and sublimity of its language.
The rights of conscience, of bearing arms, of changing the government, are declared to be inherent in the people.
We are, heart and soul, friends to the freedom of the press.
..It is a precious pest, and a necessary mischief, and there would be no liberty without it.
[Why] should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.
Democracy, in its best state, is but the politics of Bedlam;
while kept chained, its thoughts are frantic, but when it breaks loose, it kills the keeper, fires the building, and perishes.
The gentleman puts me in mind of an old hen which persists in setting after her eggs are taken away.
We are not to consider ourselves, while here, as at church or school, to listen to the harangues of speculative piety; we are here to talk of the political interests committed to our charge.
Liberty has never lasted long in a democracy, nor has it ever ended in anything better than despotism.
I consider biennial elections as a security that the sober, second thought of the people shall be law.
Time never fails to bring every exalted reputation to a strict scrutiny.
That can never be reasoned down which was not reasoned up.
Why then, if these new books for children must be retained, as they will be, should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book ?
We have a dangerous trend beginning to take place in our education.
We're starting to put more and more textbooks into our schools. We've become accustomed of late of putting little books into the hands of children, containing fables and moral lessons. We're spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principal text in our schools. The Bible states these great moral lessons better than any other man-made book.
I am commonly opposed to those who modestly assume the rank of champions of liberty, and make a very patriotic noise about the people. It is the stale artifice which has duped the world a thousand times, and yet, though detected, it is still successful. I love liberty as well as anybody. I am proud of it, as the true title of our people to distinction above others; but . . . I would guard it by making the laws strong enough to protect it.
The people as a body cannot deliberate.
Nevertheless, they will feel an irresistible impulse to act, and their resolutions will be dictated to them by their demagogues... and the violent men, who are the most forward to gratify those passions, will be their favorites. What is called the government of the people is in fact too often the arbitrary power of such men. Here, then, we have the faithful portrait of democracy.
America is rising with a giant's strength. Its bones are yet but cartilages.
All such men are, or ought to be, agreed, that simple governments are despotisms; and of all despotisms, a democracy, though the least durable, is the most violent.
A government by the passions of the multitude, or, no less correctly, according to the vices, and ambitions of their leaders is a democracy.
A large portion of our citizens, who will not believe, even on the evidence of facts, that any public evils exist, or are impending. They deride the apprehensions of those who foresee, that licentiousness will prove, as it ever has proved, fatal to liberty.
I have heard it remarked that men are not to be reasoned out of an opinion they have not reasoned themselves into.
The House is composed of very good men, not shining, but honest and reasonably well-informed, and in time will be found to improve, and not much inferior in eloquence, science, and dignity, to the British Commons. They are patriotic enough, and I believe there are more stupid (as well as more shining) people in the latter, in proportion.
[O]ur sages in the great [constitutional] convention.
.. intended our government should be a republic which differs more widely from a democracy than a democracy from a despotism. The rigours of a despotism often... oppress only a few, but it is the very essence and nature of a democracy, for a faction claiming to oppress a minority, and that minority the chief owners of the property and truest lovers of their country.